7 Things You Need To Do Right Now To Level Up Your Career

Do you feel stuck in your career? Many of us do, and it’s because you’re not doing the things necessary to keep leveling up professionally.

That includes continuously improving our job roles. Our responsibilities. And, yes, our salary.

Successful people manage their careers proactively. They don’t leave their success to chance. Want to make more money and feel successful?

Here’s the script.

7 Things To Level Up Your Career

Start doing these seven things to boost your career prospects immediately.

1. Make a 5-year plan

If we don’t know where we are going, we will never know when we will get there.

The fact is most people don’t have a 5-year plan. The lack of a plan keeps us shooting in the dark, wandering toward something we think we want. I made this mistake early in my career, and it is one of my biggest regrets.

Your 5-year plan should include critical elements such as:

  • Degrees and certifications
  • Job positions and responsibilities
  • Salary expectations
  • Work/life balance
  • Locations

We begin making smarter career decisions when we know exactly where we want to be in five years. The path becomes more apparent. And, we set ourselves up for success by charting a course that’s understood and realistic.

2. Look for other jobs (even if you don’t want one)

Even if you have no plans to leave your job, it can be eye-opening to see what else is there. For instance, you might be surprised at how much money others in your position are making. Or, there may be job opportunities you had no idea existed.

Take some time to look through online job boards for roles within your industry. Pay attention to the compensation and the skills and experience these roles demand.

For many of us, spending a little extra time developing the skills that other companies are looking for will put us in a much better position if and when we start looking for different jobs. Those who are proactive very often enjoy more lucrative careers.

3. Reconnect with your network

I remember spending years without interacting with my network of colleagues, which was a big mistake. When it came time to switch positions, it was much tougher to use my network because many of them had moved on. Or, it felt strange asking them for help after so many years without contact.

If it’s been a while, make an effort to reconnect with some people inside your network. Ask how things are going. Have lunch with a few of them, or send an email to check in.

Keeping up with those in your network will expose you to opportunities never noticed before. It will also make it less awkward to ask them for help if you need it.

4. Work on your soft skills

It’s one thing to be great at the technical components of your job. But, you quickly set yourself apart from your coworkers if your soft skills are on point too.

Your soft skills include communication and leadership capabilities. They also include your aptitude to manage time properly and interact professionally with your coworkers.

Most cities offer night or weekend classes to help shore up your softer skills. Or, at the very least, look for online discussion groups, books, and other resources to help you learn how to communicate well (both written and verbal) and manage your time effectively.

This makes more of a difference than you think.

5. Start a fitness routine

Healthy people tend to be more active and happy throughout the day. And, people want to work with those who are happy and engaged. It’s infectious. If you become that person your coworkers want to work with, a great money-making career is in your future.

Make fitness your priority. Join a gym and go three times a week. If you’re new, hire a personal trainer to get you started. Many gyms offer personal training services as a part of their membership benefits.

Get fit. Get healthy. Your career will thank you for it.

6. Read

Reading is a great way to pass the time. From books to magazines, there are so many resources that can benefit you in your career.

Inc and The Economist are a couple of my favorite magazines. And there is no shortage of books that can help improve your career. Here are a few of my favorite titles:

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Maximize Your Potential
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Atomic Habits
  • Stop Overthinking

7. Hire a coach

If you feel stuck or need a change, career coaches can be a breath of fresh air.

A career coach helps you find a career that fits both your career goals and your interests. They help clients transition between jobs (and careers), offer insight to improve existing careers, and help nurture leadership skills.

The best career coaches are unbiased and non-judgmental.

If you’re looking to bounce ideas off a seasoned professional, a career coach can be a great option. Or, maybe you need someone to hold you accountable. Perhaps you want a promotion but are not sure how to get it? If you feel anxious and don’t know what to do next, look into a career coach for a fresh perspective on your career and how to improve it.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Steve Adcock

Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.

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1 thought on “7 Things You Need To Do Right Now To Level Up Your Career”

  1. This is good stuff Steve, in fact it’s almost exactly what I did to have a great career.

    1. Make a plan, I definitely had a plan that had me to running the place by age 40, I failed slightly as I was 41 when I got that job.

    2.Look for other jobs. I never left my first company but I entertained dozens of job offers by building a network of professional recruiters. I then could give my boss good market data on what I was worth, it allowed me to go from a starting salary of X to a final year comp of 24X.

    3.Network, I always bought drinks or coffee for the teachers at the technical seminars and short courses my company sent me to after the class day was over. These were world class subject matter experts and they became, not just friends, but very helpful friends who enhanced my career. I also added political, business, academic and nonprofit leaders and a few billionaires to my network. This not only enriched my career but has led to some very interesting work, both paid and volunteer, in retirement.

    4.Soft skills, I volunteered to speak for the company at every opportunity from television show guest appearances to newspaper interviews and op ed’s. I testified before both House and Senate subcommittees in DC and served as company witness in court cases. Most engineers hated doing that kind of thing so I got to do most all of it and really learned how to communicate effectively and to disagree agreeably.

    5.Fitness, I played competitive tennis my entire career and ran tens of thousands of miles and many marathons, sometimes up at 2:30AM on a week day to run twenty miles before going into work. Being slim and fit helps you look better and feel better and it’s a great stress reliever.

    6.Read, always did that and still do. Having a wide scope of knowledge gives you a big edge in the tech world over one dimensional, one trick ponies. As a young teen my dad gave me “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I won’t say it was life changing, but it was. I was shy and it helped me turn the corner on that and later in life gave me useful tips on how to speak to large groups in an entertaining manner.

    7. Hire a coach, that wasn’t a thing in my day but finding unpaid mentors was. I had many of them. Learning from others is much more efficient than having to make every mistake yourself!

    Honestly if anyone with a reasonable amount of talent just embraced these seven practices they are going to have an excellent chance of exceeding their dreams. I know I did.


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